The park is home to three war memorial statues; the Highland Light Infantry Memorial, the Cameronian Rifles Memorial, and the Lord Roberts Monument, commemorating Field Marshall Earl Roberts of Kandahar. As well as points of heritage such as the Stewart Memorial Fountain, built for Lord Provost Robert Stewart, and statues of scientist Lord Kelvin and Field Marshall Lord Roberts, the park contains a large play area for children, and an extended skate park adjoining it.
Not fairing so well is the neglected bandstand, located just off Kelvin Way. Added in 1924, it was a popular venue for outdoor music, but fell foul of vandalism and has lay abandoned since the 1990s. Leading the charge is charity Friends of Kelvingrove Park, who along with various MPs and bands including Belle & Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand and Teenage Fanclub, have been petitioning to have the building restored. In April 2012 they were successful, with Historic Scotland awarding £245,000 from the Building Repair Grant Scheme. Although work has not yet started, we look forward to enjoying some musical shows in Glasgow’s two weeks of sunshine.
Thought to be Glasgow’s first ‘common land,’ it is named for the River Kelvin which flows through the park. The layout of the park with its paths cutting down the hillside, was designed by English Gardner Sir Joseph Paxton, the leading landscaper at the time and perhaps most famous for his work on London’s Crystal Palace.
Nearby is a small yet peaceful duck pond that attracts a great deal of birdlife, and was highlighted in the BBC’s now defunct Breathing Places program. Beyond the real wildlife, there is a sculpture of a Bengal Tigress, bought for the city by Glasweigan John Stewart Kennedy, who had emmigrated to New York. There is a duplicate version in Central Park, also donated by Kennedy alongwith telegraph inventor Samuel Morse.